This Valpolicella Ripasso Classico Superiore DOC wine by OnePiò Winery is a classic veronese blend of 80% corvina/corvinone with 20% rondinella grapes.
Like for all Ripasso della Valpolicella wines, a Valpolicella wine is run through the skins of Amarone to provide fuller body and richer flavor intensity. Being a ‘classico’, the grapes for this wine were sourced from the Valpolicella classica area, specifically here a 5ha vineyard
After fermentation, it spent 36 months in French oak barrels and an additional 12 months in stainless steel tanks.
This Valpolicella Ripsasso comes in bright red color, with a fair amount of orange hues to it, suggesting it’s seen some evolution through its 4 years of age at the time of tasting. Not overly dark for the style, but still with an intense-enough color.
The nose is, straight away, very lively and lifted, filled with a wealth of dominant citrus peel and citrus liqueur aromas. It does strikingly smell like an orange peel liqueur, somewhat like Cointreau, but with a red berry side to it as well. There is a clear element of sour cherry to the aromatic profile, one that include the cherry seeds, with a touch of vegetal and savory feel, perhaps from green olive notes that are there too.
Some lifted white pepper, with nutmeg, make for a definite spicy smelling sensation. The whole is mellowed and rounded up by used oak notes, sweet caramel, and a pleasant used barrel smell, a little like in an aged Port wine. Add some prune and dried fig, and you’ll understand that this is a pretty interesting and complex nose!
The palate is soft, and feeling surprisingly light after a pungent smell. Tannins are discrete, and the body moderately full. A good zesty acidity though, underlines the strong citrus liqueur notes very well.
All the flavors are very pungent and intense, feeling concentrated despite the relatively light weight of the palate. Milk chocolate, fresh hazelnut, date and orange liqueur, all leading to a sweet spicy finish developing into a warming and comforting long finish.
The wine certainly reminding of fortified wines that have gone through a long ageing in oak, somewhat like a sherry, probably closer to and aged tawny. Unexpected, but very pleasant a tasting experience…